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Best Mission Yet is One You Should Choose to Accept

  • Susan Ellingburg Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2015 30 Jul
  • COMMENTS
Best <i>Mission</i> Yet is One You Should Choose to Accept

DVD Release Date: December 15, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: July 31, 2015
Rating: PG-13 (sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Run Time: 131 minutes
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney

Has it occurred to anyone else that "Mission: Impossible" clearly isn't? After all, the redoubtable Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, Rock of Ages) and his team continue to complete missions, however "impossible" they may appear. Their latest escapade—taking down the mysterious "Syndicate"—could prove the exception to that rule... but nobody seriously believes that, do they? It doesn’t matter: this installment in the series is funny, fast-paced, clever, packed with amazing stunts and heart-pounding moments. It is, I daresay, the best Mission: Impossible yet and definitely one you should choose to accept.

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Unless you've recently been living under a rock you have no doubt seen the 'Ethan hanging from a plane' scene. (Cruise filmed that stunt himself, dangling from a moving airplane for eight takes). That riff is even more entertaining in the movie and just one of many impressive feats of almost super-human skill. And it's not just Ethan who gets to strut his secret agent stuff; the beautiful and elusive Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson, Hercules) has mad acrobatic combat skills as well. Even better, the film pokes fun at some of the outrageous feats its characters perform (and have performed in previous films), giving the audience permission to laugh along. Surprisingly, there's more to the movie than action sequences; there are also some nicely-plotted twists and turns. The story zips along, bouncing around the globe, occasionally dashing down highly entertaining rabbit trails, and before you know it we're zooming toward the big finish.

SEE ALSO: Ghost Protocol Is a Mission Worth Accepting

To take down the shadowy Syndicate, the MI team will need all the resources they can find. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a departmental crisis going on back in DC as the CIA is on a mission of its own: to disband the rival IMF. Meanwhile, there's a kerfuffle at Ethan's point-of-contact and with the rest of the team dealing with a very hostile takeover, resources are going to be hard to find. But if you're going to bet on one man to basically save the world, Ethan Hunt is a pretty safe bet.

Of course, he won't really have to do it alone. Simon Pegg (The World's End) is always fun to watch and as twitchy, hilarious Benji—the brilliant but often clueless techie genius of the bunch. He's the perfect sidekick to Hunt's confident (some might say cocky) hero. William Brandt (Jeremy Renner, The Avengers: Age of Ultron) lends his ruggedly handsome profile and earnest character to the cause. Even Luther (Ving Rhames, Surrogates) is back, if somewhat reluctantly. Together they will do whatever it takes, however impossible it may appear.

Capturing all those chases, fights, races, and explosions in such stylish fashion can't have been easy but they're all fun to watch, so kudos to Director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher). The sound design is fabulous, too. Mission: Impossible has arguably the best theme music ever and this time it's paired with Puccini's operatic masterpiece Turandot (which is also an important part of the plot). Strains of Nessun Dorma are woven through the relentless MI melody but at crucial moments the background music disappears into silence, only occasionally punctuated by labored breathing. It's a nice effect.

So, is Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation fun for the whole family? That depends on your family; mine would love it. This being an action movie, there is a significant amount of violence, but it's relatively bloodless. "She tried to shoot me!" Benji complains at one point. Well, she's not the only one and besides, "That doesn't make her a bad person," Ethan replies. There's hand-to-hand combat, brief torture, shooting, explosions, a knife fight... the usual kind of thing. The snappy script includes only a small amount of profanity and it went by so fast my companion didn't notice any. There's no sex, no potty humor, and only brief glimpses of partial nudity. I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to emulate the characters' driving habits, but they make for exciting chases.

SEE ALSO: Weak Plot Works Against "Mission: Impossible 3"

I did try to think of something I didn't like about the movie but... that appears to be impossible.

CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Some drinking, several people shot with dart guns and injected with potions.
  • Language/Profanity: Not much and it goes by so fast my companion missed it entirely. A couple of outbursts of he** and sh**, a g-d, and Jesus's name as an exclamation (the speaker trails off halfway through "Chri…"
  • Sex/Nudity: Ilsa wears a bikini and an alluring evening gown; after a swim we see her from the back in her underwear as she's changing clothes. Ethan is shown shirtless.
  • Violent/Frightening/Intense: The whole thing is pretty intense, but that's part of its charm. People fight and some are killed; guns, knives, fists, explosives, and some truly impressive leg moves are all used to take down opponents. It's implied that innocent people have died. Cars and motorcycles are driven with no regard for safety of riders or other (innocent) drivers.

Publication date: July 30, 2015

SEE ALSO: James Bond Spoofs Have Never Been Funnier Than Spy


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